Knicks Morning News (2017.09.08)

  • [NYPost] Knicks center’s new hobby has him working for Derek Jeter
    (Thursday, September 07, 2017 4:48:47 PM)

    Knicks big man Kyle O’Quinn wasn’t just a spectator at the U.S. Open this week. He was working on assignment in his new gig — as a photojournalist. A slimmed-down O’Quinn is showing vast improvement this offseason, working hard on his frame. That is, camera frame. The 6-foot-11 enforcer lugged around his state-of-the-art camera at…

  • [NYPost] The NBA’s tanking problem could be on its way out
    (Thursday, September 07, 2017 3:21:22 PM)

    The NBA wants to make it harder for other teams to replicate “The Process.” NBA commissioner Adam Silver has not been shy about his disdain for franchises tanking and trying to collect high draft picks, and he has a plan to disincentivize the practice. The league is working on draft-reform legislation that could be in…

  • [SNY Knicks] Report: Knicks interested in acquiring PG Trey Burke
    (Thursday, September 07, 2017 11:51:45 PM)

    Members of the Knicks coaching staff and others in the organization view point guard Trey Burke as a possible free agent acquisition, reports Ian Begley of ESPN.

  • [NY Newsday] Ed Cohen named new Knicks play-by-play radio announcer
    (Thursday, September 07, 2017 2:47:10 PM)

    MSG Networks announced Thursday that Ed Cohen will be the new Knicks play-by-play man on ESPN New York Radio, succeeding Mike Crispino, who was not re-signed after last season.

  • 37 replies on “Knicks Morning News (2017.09.08)”

    Watched some of the game yesterday and also the highlights — KP has clearly put in work on his body and on various moves, but he still looks pretty awkward with the ball in his hands trying to create something, crossing up Boban notwithstanding. Sure I’d like him to stretch his wings and try some stuff, but he’d be way better off getting the vast majority of his shot attempts on spot ups, cuts, and off PNR/PNP action.

    His jumper looks pure right now. Arc is better than last year, and he is getting his base under him more consistently than last year. Definitely looks in less of a hurry on spot-ups and PNPs.

    He’s playing about as well as he could. Stronger, but not a match down low for pure 5’s like Mozgov yet. Shooting percentages are promising, and he’s moving free and easy. They should play at least 2 more games, so hopefully he keeps it up.

    I’m happy KP looks good, but I don’t fully trust it yet. For one, the competition is a half notch below NBA level. Second, he looked really good the past 2 seasons when he was “fresh” but then wore down. Early last year his TS% was hovering near 60% and he was hitting 3s at a 40% clip. Let’s have this conversation again in February/March. If he still looks really good then we can break out the bubbly.

    I am digging the apparent improvement in KP’s post up game. I always felt that there is where he’ll evolve into a real dangerous offensive threat by leveraging his height advantage over smaller defenders. I do hope that we run some of these plays Latvia is using to compensate for its lack of a playmaking ballhandler. As to the competition he’s facing, so what? He’s dominating them like he should. Anyone with eyes though can see he’s become much stronger and little more polished than he was this time last year. We’ll just have to wait to see how it translates in a full time NBA season.

    Like Frank said his jumper looks very much improved from the end of last year. That’s something we can trust and look forward to.

    Actually KP looked very good in his last few games of last year. He was starting to put it together at the end. Much more confidence. I’m expecting a breakout this year from him. Willy will steadily improve. And Frank can play (and help) right away.

    KP looked good and yes, stronger. He’s far stronger than he was as a rookie but yeah, Mozgov pushed him around. We’re probably 2-3 years away from him being able to deal with that, which is fine by me because we’re not going to be very good until then anyway, and we have Wily to fill that roll. But KP does look like he has the makings of a pure NBA center. I watched the game vs. Turkey. His shot was sweet, leading the announcer to quip “You can’t leave Porzingis alone like that” after he nailed a 3-pointer. I kinda disagree about his handle. On one play he handled a bounce pass in the paint for a slam that few big men could have dealt with. He almost lost the ball while being triple-teamed but dove on the floor to save it. He’s not a point guard, but for a guy 7’3″ he’s as close to one that you’ll find.

    I have to say that I love the way that Latvia plays. The best stat was 28 assists on 28 field goals. Their point guard knew where to find KP. There was chemistry.

    Good call by stratomatic, his conditioning is one of the main things I want to watch to gauge his improvement. It looked like he really wore down as the season went on last year. Hopefully he can fix that problem or else reaching that next level we are all expecting will likely not happen. Playing great for 1/2 a year doesn’t cut it.

    For the tankers

    Dean Oliver? @DeanO_Lytics 21m21 minutes ago
    Some teams know this, but tanking in the NBA doesn’t actually work on average. It takes LONGER to be good by tanking than by building.

    horny is probably going to want him out there for 36 minutes a game, particular if we can get rid of melo…

    last year he averaged almost 33, latvia has him at 28 (of course though games are 8 minutes shorter)…

    maybe he needs his minutes managed a little better…find a way to keep him at around 32…

    How is that guy defining “tanking” vs. “building”?

    Yes, 30-32 mpg would be good. Having a deeper team would help in that regard. If Noah could stay healthy and contribute some consistent backup minutes at C, that would help.

    “How is that guy defining “tanking” vs. “building”

    Umm I would assume, trying to win games?

    “Tanking” is coming close to purposely losing games by not playing your best players, reducing their minutes, trading away good players for inferior players on expiring contracts etc.. in order to get a better draft pick.

    “Building” is constantly trying to make value oriented trades, signings, and draft picks to get better each year.

    Just because it takes longer doesn’t make it a worse option.

    It probably depends on the competency of management.

    San Antonio and Houston have done a terrific job of building.

    The 76ers have done a terrific job of tanking.

    But you can find disasters among builders and tankers.

    The problem is that drafting/scouting seems to be the only thing our FO is good at. Maybe Perry can change that but I’m skeptical.

    And what exactly does “work” mean for him, it means having a good team or winning a title? Because when I look at title winning teams, I see a lot of top 5-10 picks acquired via sucking majorly and drafting, or being downright lucky.

    Considering about what, 5 or 6 teams every season are tanking and the most of the rest are “building”, I can’t see how the comparison makes sense.

    Also, there’s a gigantic difference between building if you’re the Lakers or building if you’re the damn Bucks or Hornets. The Lakers “built” their last two championship teams by being the Lakers and having star players who literally wanted to go there (and landing Kobe on a lucky break), while the Bucks or Hornets or the other 75% of the league never would have the chance of “building” the same way.

    It’s impossible to make such an argument in a vacuum without considering the many many factors that are pivotal to both strategies.

    Prez Steve Mills/GM Scott Perry aren't in Europe for tourney but handful of club's front-office types, new scouts are watching their trio— Marc Berman (@NYPost_Berman) September 7, 2017

    I wonder if KP took one of their parking spots.

    You know who I think Willy comps to really well? Al Horford. I think he can be that type of player for us, which makes him pretty versatile and valuable going forward. Just looking at their player comps at the same age (22) you can see the similarities, even in the fact that Horford didn’t start his career as a particular effective three point shooter but worked his way up there with practice. With that said, Horford was always more of long distance shooter and a better defender. But I think Willy can work his way up there.


    Yeah, people often compare to Marc Gasol. I’ve done it too. But the more I think about it, the more I think its a little lazy of a comparison because Marc’s taller, longer frame always made him a traditional center type on defense. I don’t think Willy is ever going to be that type of player, but a tweener like Horford who is best suiting to defending either C or PF depending on the matchup.

    And what exactly does “work” mean for him, it means having a good team or winning a title? Because when I look at title winning teams, I see a lot of top 5-10 picks acquired via sucking majorly and drafting, or being downright lucky.

    Considering about what, 5 or 6 teams every season are tanking and the most of the rest are “building”, I can’t see how the comparison makes sense.

    Yeah, honestly, I dismissed it as soon as I saw it as “Bullshit, there’s no way that you have some fucking objective ‘tanking’ vs. ‘rebuilding’ chart.”

    Marc is also an amazing passer. If Wily levels out anywhere near as good as those guys I would be delighted

    I think Willy has the potential to be a better rebounder than Horford, who admittedly was never really great at it, but I think he has to improve quite a lot on defense to get to prime Horford’s level. I think its a fair level of expectation out of Willy, a slightly better rebounder than Horford but ultimately not as good defensively.


    I agree. The question is whether Willy can be as good a passer while limiting his TO%. He comps well to Horford in terms in AST% at this point in their careers but his TO% is a bit higher. If so, he can be a very versatile and useful piece down the road.

    Morey’s response to Oliver hit the nail on the head:

    Daryl Morey @dmorey
    Empirically correct but only because of confounding factor that poorly run teams get the high picks. For well-run teams it is very effective

    The study categorizes all teams that sucked for a while (and thus got high draft picks) as “tanking.” In reality, most of them were trying to win basketball games but were so woefully awful at talent evaluation they stumbled into high picks. They did what can be referred to as “pulling a Phil Jackson,” basically. So it stands to reason that these teams would go on to make bad draft picks, continue to sign bad players, and so on and so forth.

    For teams like the Thunder/Spurs/Sixers(?) who have smart management and are actively trying to game the system, the results are much better than any “in between” approach.

    Phil actually went full on tank that year when he realized the team was bad, but in typical Phil fashion had the team trying to win it’s last few games for some zen bullshit.

    It’s true, Phil started the season trying to win; but I honestly can’t complain that a GM decided to see what he had before tanking. Knicks history is full of GMs who decided to tear down the team and rebuild it their way as soon as they were in charge, whether the team was good or not. That strategy didnt do us much good. And, as I recall, the last few games were won by bench and d-league players actually hitting shots. I dont know if you can blame Phil for that.

    I won’t complain about a team trying to win, but I also wont complain if they realize the season is lost, the team sucks and they should rather tank. There’s no way in hell winning 3 more meaningless games with a roster about to implode is worthy losing relevant spots in the lottery.

    As much as I dislike what the Sixers did for example, its part of the system and it gives them the best chance to get someone really good. I can’t blame them for not wanting to be Charlotte or Detroit.

    The Morey response is right on point, good management works with tanking or building, and sometimes getting damn lucky is what’s necessary for the next steps. The Kings or the Suns dont suck because they tanked, they suck because they made countless bad decisions in a large period of time.

    Willy has exceptional low post footwork and hands. He is also a prolific rebounder with a super-strong base. He’s not particularly long or much of a leaper, and his range is limited. I don’t see Horford, more like Al Jefferson or Zach Randolph, only a much better rebounder. He can be a very, very good player. Phil deserves more credit for the find, the trade and the contract than perhaps any other move he made. Porzingis was a great move, but at least he was projected to be drafted in the top 5 or so.

    I don’t see Horford, more like Al Jefferson or Zach Randolph, only a much better rebounder.

    Man, if he’s much better than Zach Randolph, he’s going to get 20 rebounds a game. Wiily has shown a knack for rebounding, but Z-Bo is a hell of a rebounder… I think we should temper ours expectations a bit here. If he can sustain his REB% from last season, in increased minutes, it will be great.

    I think both Oliver and Morey are correct.

    1. It takes longer to rebuild via tanking

    2. A lot of the teams that go the tanking route are in that position because they have bad management. So they never get out of that mode.

    If course the same thing is true of teams that are trying to rebuild instead of tanking. Some of them never get anywhere because management keeps making bad trades and overpaying for free agents. So that takes us back to Oliver’s point. It takes longer by tanking.

    I think the whole tanking discussion is being so overblown. Outside of the Sixers, who carefully planned a 3 year long process of tanking, actual losing on purpose is still extremely rare in the NBA, stuff like the Warriors tanking a couple of games to not lose the Harrison Barnes pick, or Minnesota starting Madsen in the last game to guarantee their spot.

    If there were many teams intentionally tsnking every year before the season has even started, yes, I’d agree Oliver has a point. But 99% of the decisions to tank come after either crippling injuries or substantial displays of ineptitude by a roster, so its not like it’s 100% a choice, we either tank or get good players. The Nets are trying to build for 3 years and they still suck, because its not like every team has unlimited options of good players to build with. Good players are a limited resource.

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